A well-placed cliché makes conversations, speeches and even sermons more interesting. One very popular cliché used when people have misfortune is or difficulty is, “When life gives you lemons make lemonade”.
BUT WHAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANY SUGAR?
What if you have a health condition that doesn’t allow you to have sugar?
Sometimes in life we have to faith our way through some difficult days…
Sometimes we have to take some medicine that just doesn’t taste good…
Sometimes you have to swallow a really big pill that’s hard to get down…
Some people can’t have sugar in their diet…
Sometimes your healing comes from something bitter.
AREN’T YOU GLAD THAT JESUS DIDN’T MAKE LEMONADE ON THE CROSS?
2 Timothy 2:3 tells us to endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 12:2 teaches us to look to Jesus, who endured the cross for…
What do people say when confronted with doing what God expects of them or has called them to do?
Why don’t you go to church?
Let’s go feed the homeless.
Let’s go visit and minister people in prison and hospitals…
Why don’t you give the firstfruits of all your increase to
Usually before we make an excuse, we usually give a big BUT…
“I would, BUT the people in church aren’t right themselves…”
“I would, BUT those homeless people will just spend it on drugs,
cigarettes and alcohol…”
“I would, BUT I can’t afford to…”
“I would, BUT I don’t have time to visit…”
“I would, BUT my kids have sports…”
Yeshua, Christ Jesus, gave us a parable to illustrate how
much He hates our excuses. He let us know how much He hates our BIG BUTS…
Luke 14:18-24 (NKJV)
18 BUT they all with one accord began
to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I
must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I
have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have
me excused.’ 20 Still
another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So that servant came and
reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry,
said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city,
and bring in here the poor and the[a]maimed and the lame
and the blind.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you
commanded, and still there is room.’ 23 Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into
the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my
house may be filled. 24 For
I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my
Notice that each of these excuses addressed the same excuses
we give today.
BUSINESS. WORK. CAREER
“I bought a piece of ground…”
“I bought a yoke of oxen…”
SPOUSE. CHILDREN. FAMILY
“I have married a wife…
These excuses made the master of the house (Jesus) angry.
So, He invited the very people who those who were initially invited were called
to serve instead.
He then said those who makes excuses and rejected His
invitation will not ‘taste His supper’ (will not enter His Kingdom).
Jesus hates our excuses! However, the enemy loves our BIG BUTS! He loves our excuses.
Don’t let your BIG BUT keep you out of the Kingdom of God!
God always answers prayer…and usually it comes suddenly.
There have been times I was greatly troubled to the point that found it difficult to enjoy anything else.
Even in a happy moment, I might laugh… and then rushing to the front of my mind comes the thought, “REMEMBER ME!!!” I’m your trouble and I haven’t gone ANYWHERE!!!
In the midst of this trouble I pray to God for peace, which doesn’t always come immediately. As I continue in prayer, I consider my troubling situations. I think of how good God is to me, EVEN with the trouble I’m experiencing. I think of all of the things that COULD go wrong…that haven’t. I think of ALL of the things God has ALREADY brought me through.
That’s when I stop and thank Him for just for being God…for His unfailing love, even when mine fails…for His faithfulness even when I’m unfaithful to…
1 Peter 1:7 (NKJV) 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
Once we are baptized into the Body of Christ, then comes of lifetime of growth in our faith. That public affirmation, testimony and ‘marriage ceremony’ of what has taken place on the inside is symbolized by being totally immersed in water.
But, as God matures us sometimes through trials and challenges. Difficulty in your life doesn’t always mean you’re being punished…sometimes you’re being perfected. 1 Peter 1:7 (NKJV) 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, Malachi 3:2-3 (NKJV)
14 So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water; and putting it on her shoulder, he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba.
We all know that Isaac favored Esau, which means that Jacob had to notice.
Genesis 25:28 (NKJV)
28 And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Even if your father wasn’t everything (or anything) he should have been…
He is still the man GOD CHOSE to bring YOU into the world!
Never take for granted Yahweh’s precious gift of being justified by and through our Lord and Savior, Yeshua, Christ Jesus!
Remember, justification simply means being counted as or pronounced as righteous in spite of our sin and filth.
Acts 13:38-39 (NKJV)
38Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, thatthrough this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins;39andbyHim everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
6 But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like [a]filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.
This means that looking at us through the sacrifice of Christ and repentant hearts, God doesn’t see how nasty we are. He only sees His righteousness.
Be very careful to notice where God uses the word ‘AS’ in His word. It can be easily overlooked, but the comparisons are always very powerful and contain profound revelation into how God relates to us.
It is literally used to say ‘LIKE”.
For example, God isn’t saying it only takes a little faith in Matthew 17 verse 20. On the contrary, there are numerous occasions when Jesus rebuked His disciples for having ‘little’ faith and complimented others for having great faith. Link
He is saying that it takes great faith for something AS small as a grain of mustard seed to create something great…
Matthew 17:20 (NKJV)
20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your [a]unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith AS a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and…
Have you ever noticed how Paul interacted with the people of Athens? He encountered people who did not believe in the God of our salvation. He took advantage of the opportunity to teach them about Yeshua, Christ Jesus.
He didn’t do as many Christians do today, allow his passion to confront them in anger and spiritual arrogance. He didn’t tell them how stupid, silly and foolish they were to believe as they did. He didn’t try to bully them into believing.
Paul reached out to them in respect and love, acknowledging that they sincerely believed in something, and he wanted to present to them the only Living God…